Rio Ferdinand has suggested that ‘maybe it’s time’ for Manchester United to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Solskjaer’s position is under threat following the club’s disappointing start to the season, with the Red Devils currently sixth in the Premier League following a humbling home defeat to Manchester City last weekend.
The manner of that loss – alongside the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool last month – has increased the pressure on Solskjaer, who held talks with the club’s hierarchy following their Manchester derby misery.
The Norwegian has retained the immediate backing of the board and has often found support from former players and teammates, though Ferdinand – a staunch supporter following Solskjaer’s initial appointment – has now suggested that is is time he handed over ‘the baton’ as manager.
“He’s done actually what he’s been brought in to do,” Ferdinand told his FIVE YouTube channel of Solskjaer. “He’s come in and given the fans hope again, made the fans want to come back and watch your team again.
“He’s done that. He has done a great job in that sense. But is he going to take us to win titles? Is he going to make us challenge to win a Champions League?
“You need the foundations that have been built to fall back on when you are lacking that confidence. When you’re thinking a five, a 10-yard ball that is normally easy becomes a difficult ball – the foundations get you through that. We (United) ain’t got that.
“The football club will be living here and breathing here longer than any individual. It’s what’s best for this football club.
I believe if Ole leaves Manchester United now, he walks away with his head held high… we discuss in depth today!
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) November 8, 2021
“I just feel that maybe it might be time now for the baton to be handed over.
“Who can take us on now? And I think Ole would leave now with his head held high.”
Ferdinand criticised the lack of ‘identity’ in the current side as Solskjaer approaches three years in charge of the Red Devils, whilst he has questioned whether the current manager puts ‘fear’ into the squad.
“I don’t see a philosophy, I don’t see an identity. When I go and watch my team, if they get beaten, that’s fine. It happens.
“But I want to see what they are about. What are you? Players aren’t sprinting out and hurting themselves in games. I see that as a disrespect to the manager and almost like, ‘I don’t fear [Solskjaer]’.”
The former Manchester United defender also discussed Gary Neville’s refusal to call out Solskjaer, believing there should be no ‘difference’ between how players and managers are viewed when it comes to outside criticism.
“We can sit here and say ‘he’s your mate, you can’t speak about him or you can’t say it might be his time’s up now’., you have to be honest with what you see, because if it was someone else, I would say it,” he added.
“I don’t get this ‘you can’t say this about a manager’, because people are quick to say it about a player, ‘oh, his time’s up at the club’ or ‘he should never wear the shirt again’.
“But you can’t say that about a manager? What’s the difference?”